Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is suing the U.S. Federal Government, saying it has failed to protect the state's citizens from the hazards of illegal immigration.
Arizona, which recently enacted tough new immigration rules to seal its porous borders against illegal immigrants, accused the federal government of failing to maintain operational control of the border.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix, also says that the federal government has failed to uphold the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, under which powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution are reserved to the states.
Earlier, the U.S. Department of Justice had filed a suit against Arizona, questioning constitutionality of its new immigration law. Governor Brewer maintained Arizona did not want this fight and that she didn’t start the fight. But now that we are in it, Arizona will not rest until our borders are secure, she was quoted as saying by the USA Today.
Arizona maintains that the state is invaded by illegal immigrants from Mexico and that the state is made to pay for the wrong policies of the Obama administration.
“The federal government has effectively conceded its inability to protect Arizona and its citizens from criminal activities associated with illegal aliens,” Brewer's countersuit says.
The governor had signed a law in April under which the state police had the right to question the immigration status of people and then detain them if they were suspected of being in the US illegally.
Critics have decried the law, saying it will lead to racial profiling. But Arizona has stuck to the point that the law was warranted by the federal government’s apathy to the threats posed by rampant illegal immigration.
The governor pointed out in the countersuit that about 40 percent of illegal immigrants enter the country through Arizona's borders.